Before conducting research that involves humans as participants, you must receive approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee. In conducting such research, all researchers must also read and abide by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
- Applying for and renewing ethics approval
- Submitting Applications and Meeting Dates
- HREC Constitution
- About the Human Research Ethics Committee
- Contact details
- Additional information
Curtin operates a two-tier system for approving ethics applications. All applications are considered by a sub-committee before being considered by the full Committee.
If your research poses a greater risk than participants would face in their normal daily routine
Complete Form A and submit 3 copies to the Secretary, Human Research Ethics Committee (see section 2 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research).
Completed applications must be submitted at least 5 weeks before a scheduled meeting of the HREC. This is to allow time for a sub-committee to review applications and provide written advice to the full Committee. Please pay careful attention to the participant information sheets, consent forms and methods of recruitment. Please also ensure that you use clear, plain language throughout.
Approval is granted for one year, but may be renewed annually using Form B a maximum of three times.
Renewing approval or changing aspects of your research
If your research remains the same you can renew your ethics approval annually, to a maximum of three times, using Form B. After three renewals, a new application using Form A, providing comprehensive details, must be submitted.
Any changes to your research must be recorded in a Form B and submitted to the Secretary. Proposed changes must be approved by the Committee or the Executive Officer on behalf of the Committee before the changes can be implemented. The HREC also requires an annual report or advice that your research has finished or been stopped.
If your research poses a low risk to participants
Complete Form C. This should be signed by the Ethics Coordinator in your school or faculty.
What counts as low risk will vary between disciplines. For example, taking a blood sample is a low risk activity for medical doctors but not for people without medical training. Please talk to experienced researchers in your area or the Ethics Office about this.
Who may submit an application?
Applications may be submitted by:
- a current member of Curtin Staff, who should be named as the Principal Investigator;
- the nominated representative of an organisation with which Curtin University has a current formal agreement. This formal agreement must define the approval, conduct and monitoring of research, who carries legal responsibility for it, and contain a schedule of associated costs;
- Low risk (Form C) applications may be submitted by students as well as those in the above categories.
If an Adverse event occurs in your research, stop gathering data, secure existing data, and where appropriate, make the research site safe and advise the Secretary immediately.
- Completed Form A applications must be submitted 5 weeks before a scheduled meeting (see below for dates) of the HREC. This is to allow time for a sub-committee to review applications and provide written advice to the full Committee. Please pay careful attention to the participant information sheets, consent forms and methods of recruitment.
- Please also ensure that you use clear, plain language throughout. Applications are reviewed by sub-committee before being considered by the full Committee.
- Note: Form C applications can be submitted anytime for review to your local Form C Coordinator.
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- Application Procedures and Guidelines [.pdf 80kB] for students and supervisors for all applications for Ethics Approval of Research Involving Humans
- Guidelines for a Two Tier Ethics Approval System [.pdf 57kB] and for research ethics coordinators (second tier) reporting to HREC (first tier)
- Ethics Checklist [.doc 113kB] for students and staff to advise of the major types of ethical issues in your research
The Human Research Ethics Committee is a panel of experts drawn from across the University. Under the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research there must be people from these Categories:
- A Chairperson who shall be the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) or their nominee;
- Two lay persons, one man and one woman, who are not associated with Curtin who are not currently involved in medical, scientific or legal work;
- At least one member who is a minister of religion, or a person who performs a similar role in a community, such as an Aboriginal elder;
- At least one member who is a lawyer;
- At least one member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the areas of research that are regularly considered by the HREC; At least one member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling or treatment of people (e.g. medical practitioner, clinical psychologist, social worker, nurse, as appropriate);At Curtin the identity of the Committee Members is confidential as they engage in blind peer reviews.
All enquiries can be made to the Secretary, Human Research Ethics Committee:
The Secretary, HREC
Office of Research and Development
PO Box U1987
Perth WA 6845
Ph: +61 8 9266 9223
Note: Form C applications are submitted to the Ethics Coordinator in your School or Faculty. To find out who your coordinator is contact the Secretary.
Department of Health
Child and Adolescent Health Service
The Child and Adolescent Health Service Research and Evaluation Co-ordinating Committee (CACH RECC) has established a formalised approval process for institutions wishing to use our Child Development Centres or Community Health Centres as an avenue for research recruitment/advertisement. All requests for advertising must go through the CACH RECC for approval. All submissions should include the following:
- Description of the request
- Project outline
- Ethics Committee approval (if required)
- Example of poster/flyer
Please contact the Executive Officer, Alison Beer firstname.lastname@example.org.
If a databank is to be used as part of the research you must submit a (Form A) Application for Ethical Approval of Research Involving Humans.